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Understanding Holiday Entitlements & Calculations

Holiday Entitlements for Employees – a Brief Overview

Holiday entitlements and calculations are one of the most frequently asked questions and it is important to ensure that employees get paid their entitlements under the Organisation of Working Time Act.  This article sets out the criteria for establishing when holiday entitlement is due, to whom and then the methods for calculating out the monetary value of the holiday entitlement.


Holiday entitlements are governed under The Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997 which sets out statutory rights for employees in respect of rest, maximum working time and holidays and provides minimum legally enforceable holiday entitlement and public holiday entitlement for all employees.



In general, the Act applies to any person

  • working under a contract of employment or apprenticeship
  • employed through an employment agency or
  • in the service of the State (excluding members of the Garda Siochana and the Defence Forces but including civil servants and employees of any local authority, health board, harbour authority or vocational education committee).

In the case of agency workers, the party who pays the wages (employment agency or client company) is the employer for the purposes of this Act and is responsible for providing the holidays/public holiday entitlement.

Qualifying Period

There is no qualifying period for holiday entitlement and all employees, regardless of status or service, qualify for paid holidays. All time worked qualifies for paid holiday time.

Under the Act the minimum holiday entitlements for employees who work at least 1,365 hours per year is 4 weeks with pro-rata entitlements for other employees working less.

Calculating Holiday Entitlements

Depending on time worked, employees’ holiday entitlements should be calculated by one of the following methods:
a) 4 working weeks in a leave year in which the employee works at least 1,365 hours (unless it is a leave year in which he or she changes employment).
b) 1/3 of a working week per calendar month that the employee works at least 117 hours.
c) 8% of the hours an employee works in a leave year (but subject to a maximum of 4 working weeks).

If more than one of the preceding methods at (a), (b) or (c) above is applicable, the employee shall be entitled to whichever method provides the greater holiday entitlement. However the maximum statutory annual leave entitlement of an employee in a leave year is four of his/her normal working weeks.

Calculating Holiday Pay

The method of calculating the weekly rate of holiday pay is as follows:

(i) If the employee’s pay is calculated wholly by reference to a time rate or a fixed rate or salary, the amount paid to the employee for one week of paid annual leave is equal to the amount paid to him/her in respect of the normal weekly working hours last worked by the employee before the annual leave commences. This payment includes any regular bonus or allowance that does not vary in relation to work done, but excludes any pay for overtime.
(ii) If the employee’s pay is not calculated wholly by reference to the matters referred to above, (e.g., employees who earn commission or who work on piece or productivity rates), the amount paid to him/her for one week of paid annual leave is equal to the average weekly pay of the employee (excluding any pay for overtime) calculated over the period of 13 weeks ending immediately before the annual leave commences.

If no time was worked by the employee during that period, the average weekly pay is calculated over the period of 13 weeks ending on the day on which time was last worked by the employee before the annual leave commences.

The method to be used in calculating the appropriate daily rate is set out below in the section on public holidays.

Calculating Holiday Entitlements

In calculating how many days’ holidays to which an employee may be entitled, employers should include all hours worked including time spent on annual leave, time spent on maternity leave, parental leave, force majeure leave, or adoptive leave, and time spent on the first 13 weeks of carers’ leave. Employees do not accrue annual leave while on sick leave, occupational injury, temporary lay-off, or career break.

A day of sickness during holidays which is covered by a medical certificate is not counted as annual leave.

The employer decides when holidays are to be taken having regard to work requirements and subject to his/her taking into account the need for the employee to reconcile work and any family responsibilities and the opportunities for rest and recreation available to the employee. The employer must consult with the employee or his/her trade union at least one month before the holidays are due to commence.

The holidays must be given to the employee within the leave year or, with the employee’s consent, within 6 months of the following leave year. It is the responsibility of the employer to ensure that the employee takes his/her full statutory leave allocation within the appropriate period. Employees may, with the consent of the employer, carry over holidays in excess of statutory minimum leave to a following leave year.

The employer must compensate the employee for any unused annual leave that was accrued during the leave year in which the employee’s employment ceases. If the employment ceases in the first half of the leave year, the employee must be compensated for any annual leave accrued in that leave year and the previous leave year.

It is illegal to pay an allowance in lieu of the minimum statutory holiday entitlement of an employee unless the employment relationship is terminated.

While the statutory leave year is 1st April to 31st March, there is no restriction on employers using different 12 month periods provided that the same leave year is used consistently.

Pay in respect of holidays is paid in advance at the normal weekly rate.

Following 8 months work, the employee is entitled to an unbroken period of 2 weeks which may include one or more public holidays. An employment regulation order, registered employment agreement, collective agreement or any other agreement between the employer and employee may stipulate an arrangement which varies this provision.

 Further Information and Assistance

Holiday entitlements are usually provided by the employer to their payroll department for calculation and processing.  Speak to one of our representatives today to find out how Paycheck Plus can help you calculate your employees holiday entitlements as part of our managed payroll outsource service.

125 Responses to Understanding Holiday Entitlements & Calculations

  • Hi Jo,

    The employer can decide for employees to take holidays on specific days to meet business requirements. It’s quite common for employers to stipulate that employees retain some of their holiday entitlement for the Christmas period.

  • Hi Richard,
    As a temporary agency worker you still have entitlement to holiday. You should speak to the employer about your holiday entitlement or to the Agency who placed you if you do not get a satisfactory response. All the best, Anne

  • Hello,

    I have worked at the same company for 18 months hired through an agency, the company’s holiday calendar is from Jan to Dec, a full time direct employee can take a weeks paid holiday in January if so wished where as an agency worker which I am would have to work the appropriate hours before being able to take paid holidays.

    In other words if I don’t have holidays carried over from the previous year I will not get paid holiday if I should take holidays at the start of a new calendar year. So if I took a week in January as holidays I would not get paid so would be at my own expense.

    Please advise if this is allowable as it appears unfair.

  • Hi There,

    Can you confirm if a company can close over the xmas period and cease paying full time staff for the days the office is closed?
    Also, can a company stipulate that employees must keep a certain number of days from their annual leave towards keeping the office closed over the christmas period?


  • The employer is obliged to ensure you take all your holiday entitlement each year (or at least 4 weeks if you get more than that).

  • HI Karen,

    It’s not so much a case of getting “extra” holidays. But you really need to ask the employer how they intend to manage the changeover in this regard.

  • HI Dave

    If you regularly work 3 days per week then your annual holiday entitlement would be 4 weeks x 3 days i.e. 12 days in total.

  • Hi Brid,

    Your entitlement to holiday pay starts from the moment you start working. It would appear from what you tell me that you may be entitled to almost 4 weeks holidays.

  • Hi I got a job covering maternity leave from the 19th of December 2014 until november 2015 working full time from nine in the morning until half five in the evening am I entitled to holidays ?

  • Hello, I work three eight hour days per week,am I entitled to 8% of the hours I work or 4 full weeks.also do I take away bank holidays when calculating my holidays.thanks

  • Hi,

    my company is changing current holiday calendar from Jan-Dec to Apr-Mar. I have taken entitled 4 weeks holidays for current year (until the end of Dec). I just wanted to ask if I’m entitled to get an extra week for Jan-Mar before new holiday calendar starts in April from zero? I’m working full time with fixed hours every week and on a salary.

  • hi, I work for a company for 8 year and now I resign. I didn’t take all my holiday for the past 8 year., but now they told me I cant claim the holiday from last 6 year. is it true?

  • Hi Sean. An employer is obliged to pay holiday entitlement and to ensure you take your annual leave during the holiday year. The method of payment is usually the same as the payment of wages but is likely to be documented in your terms and conditions of employment. In our experience, most employers pay employees through the bank account specified by the employee.

  • Hi Kate. The entitlement to holidays and public holidays varies from country to country. In Ireland four working weeks in the minimum holiday entitlement and there are an additional 9 days for which public holiday entitlement may apply. However, in other countries the public holidays are included as holidays. You should refer to your Terms and Conditions of employment to check your entitlement but there is no obligation on an employer to provide more than the statutory minimum.

  • Holiday entitlement applies from the moment you start working. Terms and conditions of employment must be provided to the employee within two months of commencing employment but the right to your holiday entitlement would be applicable from the first day you started work. Might I suggest that you speak to the HR Department and ask about the holiday entitlement for the 379 hours worked before your three year contract commenced. Best of luck!

  • Hi,

    I was working on a casual basis with a University over the summer months (end of June- early Sept, less than 13 weeks). I was not issued a contract and was paid based on the hours worked each week (a total of 379 hours during this period). I have since been successful in getting a three year contract with the same University but I was wondering what I am entitled to for the period I worked on a casual basis as I have been advised that my annual leave entitlement is calculated from the day the contract was issued. Thanks in advance.

  • Dear Sirs,
    I am working for an international company. I have 20 days of holidays where my colleagues hired by the same company but in different country get 24-27 days of leave. Is it fair that I have the less holidays while working on exact same position within the company?

    Thank you in advance

  • Is it legal for an employer to put holiday pay into your account when you have not requested it

  • Hi Pattek,

    This enquiry deserves further attention to the Terms & Conditions of Employment that were given to you by your employer. The wording of the holiday entitlement is very important.
    Your need to ascertain if it says that you are entitled to 21 days holidays or the equivalent of 21 days holidays. Also check how many hours are in your “normal” working day. We would expect that your holiday entitlement would be the same as those working 8 hour days in terms of hours but the number of days off would be different as you would be receiving in effect a day and a half for every day they receive. You havent mentioned if you work 3, 4 or 5 days per week. It really is important to revisit the contract and discuss further with your employer. The minimum entitlement for a full time employee is four weeks holidays. But if you work 3 days per week x 12 hours, then one weeks holiday would be 3 of your days (which may be 5 of someone else’s). Without further information we cannot advise further but recommend that you review your contract and speak to your employer in the first instance for clarity on the matter.

  • Hi Vinny,

    As an employee you have a holiday entitlement from when you commence your employment. Over the course of a year, your minimum entitlement would be 4 weeks holiday. You say that you have already worked for 6 months so your entitlement to date would be for half of that which is 2 weeks. Your week’s holiday is payable at the same rate as your average week worked – in this case 45 hours x 2 weeks. I hope this helps.

  • Hi Guys

    I work 12hours shifts and my employer has 168 hours holidays quota which applies to both guys woroking 8hrs Mon-Friday and us workind 12 hours.
    The guys who work 8 hours get their 21 days holidays and we who work 12hrs get only 14 days.

    I can also add that my contracts states that I’m entitled to 21 days.

    I’d appreciate your help with this.


  • HI I started work 5 to 6 months ago I work 5 and a 1/2 days a week I do 45 hours a week in a garage doin mechanics so that’s 900 hours in 5 months am I entitled to holidays I had 3 bank holidays in this 900 h period thanks

  • The nature of hotel work would require more staff during the holiday season.
    The employer needs to reconcile business requirements with personal needs.
    They do have a right to impose certain periods where holidays cannot be taken or where they must be taken (for example some copmanies close for the last week in July and first week in August and all staff are obliged to take annual leave at that time).

  • Hi Kathryn,
    Your holiday entitlement will be pro rated in line with the period worked in the year.
    So if you worked for 4 months of the year then you are entitled to 4/12th of the 20 days.
    Assuming you started on the 1st May, then that’s 8/12ths of 20 days or 13.33 days.

  • This may be correct – the employer has the choice of pay reference periods.
    You should have the details of this explained in your Terms & Conditions.
    If you haven’t received one yet, ask them for it so you can get a clearer understanding on how it operates.

  • Hi Megan,

    I think you should ask the employer how he arrived at his figures and then outline yours.
    You say you were not under contract with the company – they have an obligation to issue you with Terms & Conditions of Employment within two months of your commencement with them.
    Those T&C’s should have included specifics on your holiday and public holiday entitlements. You should ask them to give that to you too!

  • Hi Paddy,
    All work qualifies for holiday entitlement. In this situation where your work is more temporarily and sporadic, the most effective way for the employer to calculate out your entitlement is at 8% of the hours you have worked. If he has paid you on an hourly basis then this should be very striaghtforward – 8% of your pay for the hours worked will be your holiday entitlement. Enjoy your holiday!

  • Hi Al,
    Gosh, this sounds like a difficult situation. The employer should take the employee’s need to rest, relaxation and family circumstances into account when considering holiday applications. But the employer has the right to dictate holidays in line with business requirements. Perhaps it might be a good idea to keep a record of the carious requests for holidays that were requested or granted and bring them to your employer again when requesting further leave. He has an obligation to ensure you get all your annual holiday entitlements so he should communicate with you to ensure you both arrive at an agreeable arrangement. Best of luck!

  • Hi
    My employer has introduced a “use it or lose it”policy with regards to leave. however, due to severe understaffing leave applications are often refused. As shift workers we are compensated for public holidays with time in lieu and are almost constantly on overtime further reducing the opportunities for time off.
    Can an employer take your unused leave from you if, due to understaffing you can’t take your days off?

  • Hi
    I have only worked 40 days since January 2014 as I am a relief driver I just covered other drivers holidays within this company. I was also working for other ppl during this time. I do not have a contract as I or set working hours etc as I was only relief brought in to cover holidays. I was offered a fulltime position and accepted 2 weeks ago 🙂 I am due to go on holidays on Friday and I was wondering would I be entitled to any holiday pay for the 40 days worked considering I had no contract and was working with other ppl also. Thank you in advance for any response.

  • Hi,

    Last month I finished up working for a restaurant where I had been working for 8 months. During this time I took no holidays. My rota changed every week but since I started I worked 662 hours. My salary was 10p/h. I calculated that I was owed gross €529.60, by using the 8% calculation. The company has however only payed me gross €407.20 for 40.72 hours. Am I right that they owe me another gross pay of €122.40? Also I was not under contract with this company.

    Thank you,

  • Hi, I started work on 6th may & get paid monthly on the 26th. However I have only been paid up the the 19th. As they say that payroll runs from 19th – 19th?! I this correct that my employer will always have 1 weeks hold over my salary?

  • Hi, my contract says I’m entitled to 20 days off from January to December. I didn’t start my job until late April. Am I still entitled to 20 days or do I get less?

  • Hi,im working in a big hotel and my employer posted a memo that we can not to take our holidays from may to september, is that legal?

  • Hi James,
    Regardless of being issued with a contract of employment you are still entitled to statutory annual leave. Your employer is obliged to ensure that you take the minimum four weeks leave entitlement. In the event that it was agreed for some of that leave to be carried forward into this year, then your employer should pay you on termination of employment for any leave entitlement to the date of your leaving.

  • When calculating annual leave you need only include actual hours worked.

  • Hi Ger,
    Its highly unlikely that any course will continue fro 50 weeks without some breaks. You should contact the course co-ordinators or ask the tutors. Best of luck with your studies.

  • Hi I have worked for over 30 in the private sector & was made redundant. I am now doing a full time 50 week Solas course which I am enjoying even though its hard going . We have been informed we are not entitled to any holidays . This is an intense course surely this cannot be legal 50 weeks without a break !

  • What should be included when calculating annual leave. I have included hours worked, bank holiday days and annual leave days taken.The only days that were not included were sick days. My employer claims it is incorrect, are they right?

  • Hi,

    I have a quick question, I have 2weeks Hol left from last year and could be leaving my current employer in the next few weeks I was wondering if I have any entitlement to get those paid to me on termination of my employment.
    I have not got and have never been offered a contract of employment and I been with my current employer for 6 years.

    Any help would be great.

  • Hi Martin,

    For those people paid at 8% of their gross earnings, it is subject to a maximum of 4 weeks leave. So unless your contract states otherwise the maximum entitlement would be for the 20 days.

  • I worked 1420 hours last year having gone from full time to short time at the end of May. Am I entitled to 20 days as I’ve worked more than 1365 hours or is it 8% of the time worked. Thanks in advance for your advice

  • Hi Jennifer,
    Sorry to hear about your situation. It certainly sounds a bit strange! I think you need to discuss this further with your employer to clarify if he was laying you off for the week. Having a week off without pay would imply that he had no work for you. You may need to look again at your Terms and Conditions of Employment to see if there is any reference to short term lay off and what your entitlements are, if any. Naturally this is quite distressing so you might ask him what his plans are going forward and what periods you might expect to be working or off. Its important to you to know so that you can budget accordingly. Perhaps you will need to seek further advice from the National Employment Rights Authority. I hope all works out well for you.

  • Hi Mark,

    Christmas Day is most definitely a Public Holiday in Ireland and you should have received Public Holiday entitlement for the day. St Stephens Day on the 26th December is also a Public Holiday as is 1st January, New Years Day so there are three Public holidays for which you may have entitlement over the festive season. Hope it works out for you.

  • Hi,
    As I understand it you didnt receive any additional pay or an extra day off in respect of Christmas Day. According to the Organisation of Working Time Act you should have got one of the above options or an additional days holiday. I think you should speak to your employer and explain your situation. Best of luck!

  • Just to clarify my situation. My boss told me I could take a week off at the end of November and have no holiday pay, just the time off! Surely if it was reasonable to have the time off I should be entitled to get the holiday pay.?
    Can my employer do that, is it right for them to tell me at the end of the year that I can take no more paid holidays? Should they not tell me that at the beginning of the year? It is also has no mention of this in my contract.

  • Does anybody know if people undertaking a training course with Solas formally known as FAS or now ETB are entitled to holidays?

    We have been informed we will have no time off until next december ?

  • Hi,
    I work for a company that’s closed only on the 25th of Dec during the whole year. I’m on fixed salary. So normally if I work on any other bank holiday, i receive additional pay for that day worked. By company policy i have 7 days off a month, which fall on totally random days. Since we were closed on the 25th of Dec, i didn’t receive any addition pay besides my fixed salary. This day was inclusive my 7 days off. My question, even if i’m not entitled to get extra pay for this, shouldn’t it be treated as an additional day off, resulting 8 days off in December?
    Thanks you for your advice in advance!

  • I work as a chef here in Co. Mayo, Ireland, Lucky to have a job aparently in these recessionary times.I work, 12-9 , 5 days a week and get paid for 40 hours even though I work 45 at least, and generally only get a 10-15 min break every day. Over the Christmas period, I worked 53 hours each week and only got paid for 40 hours, I have also been told that Christmas day is not a bank Holiday and I am not entitled to be paid for it. Any help here would be appreciated, Thanks

  • Hi Jason,
    The amount of net pay is related to your personal tax situation so without further detail on your calculations we could not comment on your payment.
    However, your employer should show the amount of holiday entitlement on your payslip as a gross amount. If not, ask him to explain to you what holidays you have received to date.
    If you work a full year, then you should receive four weeks holiday entitlement (i.e. 4 weeks x 49 hours per week).
    Hope this helps.

  • Hi Jennifer,
    Your holiday entitlement is based on the time you have worked. The employer is entitled to choose when you take these holidays based on the requirements of the business and subject to reasonable consideration of your personal requirements for leave. In this case it would appear that the employer is instructing you to take your full holiday entitlements at the times he has chosen. If this does not suit you, perhaps you could discuss this with your employer to see if he can change your holiday periods.

  • Hi Grace,

    I’m sorry to hear that you were let go so suddenly. You should have holiday entitlement for the period you worked. So if you worked 25 hours per week then you would have approximately 2 hours for every week worked less whatever holidays you had taken to date. The 14 days holidays for the year you mention possible equate to 4 weeks holidays for working a full year. If you had only worked for 3 months then you would probably have been entitled to one quarter of that. You should ask your employer to explain the payment in detail to ensure you are getting your full entitlement.

  • Hi Susan,

    If you are working a five day week over a six month contract then we can assume that you will be entitled to a total of two weeks holidays over the duration of the contract. The employer should discuss when those holidays should be taken. If the office is closed over Christmas then it would seem reasonable to expect that you would be paid your entitlement during that time but you should definitely discuss this with your employer who should confirm for you.

  • Hi there,

    I am covering maternity leave on a 6 month contract. I started the end of July, and took a weeks holiday in August. Am I entitled to any holiday pay over the Christmas period? Would a company usually pay and then deduct when I leave if I owed them holidays? The office will be closed over Christmas and I can’t afford to not be paid for two weeks!

  • Hi
    I was recently let go without any notice and when I enquired about 2 weeks payment in lieu of not working out my notice I was told I was only entitled to 1 weeks pay. They docked a week because of 4 days holiday I had taken as well as a sick day. I was working 25 hours a week for just under 3 months. It was also stated in my contract that I was only entitled to 14 days holiday for the year including 7 that had to be taken during Christmas when the business closes for two weeks. Am just wondering if this was the correct procedure regarding payment.
    Thank you

  • Hi,
    I work different hours every week, some weeks can be 25 hours others 40,
    I last took one week holiday in June and have on average worked roughly 600 hours since then. I have been told by my employer that I am not entitled to any more paid holidays as I get one Spring week 2 Summer one Autumn week. So I had to take my holidays within those times.
    Are they able to refuse me this holiday pay which I believe I am entitled to?

  • Hi Karen
    You can work out the average rate by dividing the total amount paid by the number of weeks worked. If you are paying the employees a number of days holiday pay then you should use the average daily rate of payment as calculated over the period worked. The employee is entitled to whichever calculation is more preferable for him/her. So you can use the 8% calculation or the appropriate number of days at the average rate of pay for each day.

  • Hi Andrew,
    I would need further detail from you to calculate your exact entitlement but the most likely entitlement would be 8% of your pay for the period. You should be able to see the gross pay amount on your payslip, then multipy that by 8%. There are other ways of calculating depending on circumstances but this wont be far off.
    Hope this helps

  • Hi Sean
    Good news – you are entitled to holidays since the start of your employment. There are a number of different methods of establishing the exact entitlement so I would ned a little more detail to tell you exactly what your entitlement is. However, for a rough guide, you would be entitled to a 4/12ths of the full years entitlement as you have worked for 4 months. The amount should be in line with your average weekly wage rate averaged over the period worked. I recommend you ask your employer to advise on your entitlement.

  • HI,

    ive been working part time for the last 4 months and have worked a total of 286 hours am i entitled to any holidays?

  • Hi. i work in my company as a casual worker. i work at least 3 days a week(8hr a day). some weeks its 5 or 4 days. i had not paid holidays from 1st march till 13th may. how should i calculate my holiday? thanks

  • Hi,

    In our company we calculate holidays as 8% of hrs worked. Some people work long hrs and it fluctuates from week to week. If the entitlement is subject to a maximum of 4 working weeks how do I work out what a working week is and can I reduce the calculation if the result is over the maximum?


  • Can you please work out my monetary holiday entitlement.
    I worked 49 hours per week from 7th January 2013 to 8th November 2013.
    My take home pay is 450 euro per week.
    I was paid 182 euro holiday pay, this has to be wrong/
    What is my full holiday entitlement from Jan 7th to Nov 8th 2013????

  • Hi Radek,

    Your holiday entitlement is still only 20 days. However, the payment should be based on your average daily rate, which may be somewhere between 44 and 48 hours per week.
    Therefore, you should receive the same pay for the weeks you are on holiday as you would have received had you been at work.
    Hope this helps.


  • Hi Fiona,
    The statutory holiday entitlements are for four weeks but additional holiday entitlement may be granted by employers if they decide to do so.
    Holiday entitlements are usually documented in the Terms and Conditions of Employment provided to employees within two months of commencing employment.
    There is no statuory requirement for employers to offer additional holidays after any length of service unless this is stated in your Terms & Conditions of Employment.
    Certainly worth looking at your contract to see what was offered to you or to discuss further with your employer but as far as I know theres no entitlement to anything about the statutory 20 days.

  • Hi
    I have been working for a private Company for just 30 years. mon-Fri 40 hr week
    I believe you are entitled to 1 day extra holidays for each 5 years worked?!
    (after the statutory 20 days)so would I be entitled to 26 days? or is it 21 days ?Please advise
    Thank you

  • Hello, i was working 48 hours a week for first 36 weeks this year 2013 and
    now i am continue workin 44 hours a week and my employer paying me only 20 days ( 7.5 hours per day).What is my holiday pay?Should be at leat 25 days(8 hours per day ) ,if i worked so much overtime?thank you

  • Hi John,

    As I understand it, your holiday entitlement is based on the number of hours you have actually worked, not what you were contracted to work in this case.
    Your employer should look at the total hours or total gross pay for your 8 month period and calculate your holiday entitlement on that basis.
    Kind regards. Anne

  • hi im just finishing a 8 month temporary 20hr contract but have worked 40 hrs nearly every week, the company says im only due holiday pay on the 20hrs,is this correct?

  • Hi Aileen,
    In theory you would be entitled to the four weeks holiday pay. In practice, I expect that you might need to quote the Organisation of Working Time Act in order to explain this concept to many employers who may not realise this is the case! Best of luck and let us know how you get on!

  • Hi Adrian,

    If you work a 42 hour week then you are still entitled to a minimum of four weeks holidays paid at the same rate as your average pay, in this case 42 hours.
    So, in effect, your 4 weeks holiday entitlement should give you the same net take home pay as if you were at work.



  • Hi,

    I work 12-hours shift and I work an average of 42 hours per week. As per my shift schedule I can be required to work on bank holidays also. What is my annual leave entitlement?

  • Hi,
    I work full time, 39 hours a week. I am thinking of leaving before the end of the year is up. If I have worked more then 1365 hours in that year am I entitled to my full 4 weeks pay or do I have to work up until the end of the year? If I leave work after say 10 months but I have worked up 1365 hours do they have to give me my full 4 weeks holiday pay there and then??

  • Hi Kevin,
    Your holiday entitlement is for four weeks per year, or 20 days in the twelve month period.
    If you have worked 4 months already, then you are entitled to 6.66 days to date.
    Hope this helps.

  • Hi Shane,

    Gosh – this sounds like a difficult place to work! If your normal working week is 44 hours, then your holiday entitlement is four weeks per year at 44 hours per week. It would appear that you are being short 14 hours for each week. You should ask your employer when you can expect to receive payment as per your entitlement.

    Regarding working on a Public Holiday – perhaps your employer has given you an alternative day off or an additional days annual leave instead of additional pay for the public holiday? The employer has the right to choose one of three options when it comes to Public Holiday entitlement. However, it none of those apply, then you need to consider what course of action you would like to take. I suggest that you approach your employer calmly and quietly and ask if you can discuss your concerns with him. If that doesn’t work then you may need to contact the National Employment Rights Authority on 1890 80 80 90.

    Hope all works out for you.
    Kind regards

  • Hi Jackie,
    You have a holiday entitlement for all hours worked. In a year, a person will typically have four weeks holiday entitlement (the equivalent of 1.66 days per month for a person who works 5 days per week or 8% of all hours worked if you are on a casual/part-time basis). Without the detail of your previous working hours, leave year and holidays taken I’m afraid I cannot be specific about your entitlement. But assuming your holiday year starts in January and runs to December then you would be entitled to one week off every quarter (4 weeks per full year). If you have received holiday entitlement of one week in February, then you were probably entitled to another week by the end of June. If you took a week off but didnt get paid, then that’s “unpaid leave”, not paid holiday.

    You should discuss your current entitlement with your employer and request him/her to advise you of your entitlement for the year to date. It should equate to approximately 8% of your gross pay, less payment for holidays already received this year.

    Don’t be afriad – you are legally entitled to receive your holiday pay. If you have any problems or require further assistance, you might contact the National Employment Rights Authority on 1890 80 80 90.

    Best of luck!


  • Hi Thomas,
    I’m sorry to hear about your accident and hope your ankle recovers quickly. As you are now incapacitated, your doctor will most likely issue you with a Certificate stating that you are unable to work. You should present a copy of this to the Department of Social Protection for Disability Benefit purposes where you may be issued payment while you are out of work due to your illness/disability. If you send a copy of the Certificate to your employer, he/she is obliged to note that you are now on Illness/Disability Leave and not on holiday as previously informed. You will be entitled to receive the equivalent holidays when you have recovered. The period covered by your Doctors Certificate should not be recorded as holidays by your employer.
    I hope you make a full and speedy recovery and get back to full health again soon.
    Kindest regards

  • Hi . I am on a week’s holidays at the minute and went over on my ankle two days in damaging my tendons. If I have a medical cert are the days counted as sick rather than holidays. How do I go about approaching my employer with this. Thanks

  • Hi,
    I recently gave up my part time job and I’m just wondering am I entitled to any holiday pay that I worked up before I left? I took a weeks holidays in February in which I recieved holiday pay for but I’m wondering am I entitled to it from the hours that I worked after that holiday. I took a weeks holidays during the summer but never recieved any holiday pay then. I worked an average of about 16hours a week. Any help would be great fully appreciated.

  • Hi Rachel.
    Sorry to hear that you’re having such a tough time getting paid your holidays. As I understand it, you are due holiday pay for a part of last year as well as this year.
    Employers are obliged by law to provide holiday pay in accordance with the Organisation of Working Time Act. He is obliged to ensure you get your statutory annual leave which is a minimum of 4 weeks for employees who have worked for the year.
    You also mentioned that getting a payslips is difficult. Employers are obliged by law to provide details of your pay and deductions with or before every payment. If you have been refused your payslips and have requested them on a number of occasions you can resort to NERA, the National Employment Rights Authority for assistance. Further details of their a services are available at

    Sincerely wishing you all the best.

  • Hi, I am a part-time worker in a shop and recently got paid my holiday pay after asking for it before taking a week off. However my holiday pay was significantly lower than expected and not 8% (as it had been the year before). On inquiring with my boss he told me he was not in a position to give me all of my holiday pay and only gave me half. Is he allowed to do this? It does not seem fair. Also I did not get any holiday pay at the end of last year. Is he under any legal obligation to give my holiday pay for the months August-December last year? It is such a hassle because if i want anything (even a payslip!!) I must hound and hound them. Please help!

  • Hi my normal workin week is 44 hrs a week for last 6 mths also have worked bank holidays for no extra pay my emoloyer tells me I am due 2 weeks holidays but are only paying me for 30 hrs


  • Hi Caroline,

    Your entitlement to Public Holiday depends on having worked at least 40 hours in the previous five weeks leading up to the Public Holiday so it appears you qualify.
    The payment is calculated at one-fifth of the average working hours over the previous 13 weeks worked.
    You need to calculate how many hours you have worked in the 13 weeks before the Public Holiday. Then take the average of those weeks. Your entitlement will be one fifth of that.
    I hope that helps.
    Kind regards,

  • Hi, I work part time, my agreed hours are 1 Friday per week and one weekend (Saturday&Sunday) in the month. However most weeks I actually work 16 to 24 hours. The two weeks prior to the August bank holiday I was covering holidays and I actually worked 88 hours from friday 19th July to Friday 2nd August. I am paid fortnightly so this was split between two pay periods.
    I received my payslip for the period which includes the bank holiday today and I seem to have been paid 3 hours only for the bank holiday.
    Is this correct?
    Many thanks in advance for your help.

  • Hi Niamh,
    Your holiday entitlements are based on the hours worked, so if you are now working 15 hours per week, then you would be entitled to a minimum of 4 weeks holidays x 15 hours per week in a leave year. As you dont state how many days you work in a week and I dont know when you returned from Maternity Leave, I cannot advise you on the number of days. Bear in mind that you are also entitled to annual leave for the 26 weeks you were on Maternity Leave which usually equates to 2 weeks holidays. That means you would have 2 weeks from that period plus your entitlement for the period between your return to work and your leave this August.
    Best wishes

  • Hi Dee,

    I’m a bit confused at what your contracted hours are.
    If you were contracted to work for only 11 months, then your holiday entitlement would be based on 11 months (20 days annual entitlement divided by twelve months multiplied by 11 months worked each year) = 18.33 days.
    I think you should refer back to your contract and discuss again with your employer.
    Best of luck.

  • Hi Catherine,
    You husband is probably entitled to receive approximately 8 days holiday leave betweem May and the end of the year, but that will depend on his Terms & Conditions of Employment.
    The holiday periods is at the discretion of the employer and in this case, as the company has closed for 2 weeks, your husband may have to take his full entitlement then (assuming that the employer is willing to pay him his entitlement to the end of the year now). On the other hand, it is quite possible that the employer will only pay for the entitlement between 7th May and Friday 2nd August which will probably be about one weeks pay.
    I suggest that he asks the employer what his intentions are regarding the holiday pay. He should also ask for his Terms & Conditions of Employment which he should have received within two months of commencing employment. The terms usually explain the holiday entitlements and any scheduled designated holiday periods.
    I hope it works out well and that he gets an enjoyable holiday!
    Kind regards

  • Hi Eadaoin,
    As a full time employee, your employer is obliged to give you 4 weeks holiday leave in a year and as I understand it, you are receiving those entitlements. However, the employer is entitled to state when those holidays can be taken in line with work requirements and may have stated that within your contact.

    Most employers will state any designated holiday periods within the Terms & Conditions of Employment so you should have a look at that first.

    If you find that the designated holidays do not suit your personal needs, then you can request the employer to review. He is supposed to take your personal needs for recreation and family matters into consideration so that the holidays can be agreed between you both.

    I suggest that you review the terms he supplied on commencing employment and then discuss it with him further explaining that you have personal circumstances that require you to take some of that leave at an alternative time.

    You cannot force him, but the law does ask that he takes your personal circumstances into consideration.
    I hope that it works out for you and that you get to enjoy your holidays.

    Kindest regards,


  • Hi, I work full time in my work place and have done for 8years, I do get my 4weeks holidays but we are not allowed split up a week or take them when we want even with plenty of notice, is this legal??

  • Hi,

    My husband commenced work on 7th May this year (Tuesday after the Bank Hol) He works a 39 hr week. The company closes for 2 weeks summer holidays & they’re due to start holidays next Friday 2nd & go back on Tuesday 20th (1 day off in lieu of the Aug Bank Hol. He was paid for the June Bank Hol).

    One of his colleagues mentioned today that he may not get full 2 weeks holiday pay due to the length of time he’s there.

    He hasn’t been given a contract of employment – so doesn’t know exactly what he’s entitled to. What’s his annual leave entitlement and how many days pay is he entitled to?

    Thank you.

  • Hi, I work in Childcare & I work 4 hours per day over 5 morning however I get the month of August off because the room I work in closes for the month of August. My employer is telling me I am only entitled to 15 days holidays & is calculating this I assume over the 11 months I work. Does this mean I am entitled to 15 days hols over 11 months PLUS the month of August off, i.e. I don’t have to take my holidays during August??

  • Hi. I currently work 15 hours per week since I returned from Maternity leave in March. I went on maternity leave late August 2012. Got paid any holiday pay that was due to me up to that date. I have not taken any holiday days since my return. I am due to take holidays this August -what should I be entitled to??

  • Hi Danielle,
    Your entitlement to holiday continue during your 26 weeks Maternity Leave. Therefore if you were working 5 days per week prior to your Maternity Leave for a period of at least 1,365 hours in total, you would be entitled to holiday payment in respect of the full weeks. When you change over to the 20 hours per week, your holiday entitlement will also change accordingly.
    Best wishes on your return to work.

  • Hi Morris,
    Sorry to hear about the closure in your workplace.
    It would appear to me that you are entitled to the best option under the various calculational options, in this case, 8% of your gross earnings to date.
    I suggest that you speak with your employer about the options which are included in the Organisation of Working Time Act.
    Best of luck!

  • Hi Grainne,
    Based on the information provided, I believe you are entitled to four weeks holidays, each week being for 3.5 days (29 hours per week).
    Your holiday weeks should be the equivalent of your normal working weeks.
    I hope this makes sense.
    Kind regards,

  • Hi Chris,
    As your hours are so varied, the option of calculating your holiday entitlement as 8% of gross pay or hours worked would seem to be the most practical solution. Enjoy your holidays!

  • i work in a big pub with lots of staff, and my hours are all over the place, some weeks i could work 4days, some 3, some 2 and some only 1.
    how can i calculate what holiday pay i am entitled to? is it 8% of the total hours worked in the year?

  • Hi,

    I work 29 hours per week over 3.5 days. how many days holidays per year am I entitled to.
    Thank you

  • Salaried employment, contract states sum of money per 40 hour week. Ends after 25 weeks employment due to closure. I assumed holiday pay would calculate at a straight two weeks. Your article says 8% of hours worked is a method but does it apply to salaried employees? My hours were recorded at 1409 in the six month period (56.36 per week worked.) Can I ask for payment at the 8% rate? Thanks for any clarification!

  • Hi i went on maternity leave on feb 4 and i am due back on the 4th of aug.i previously worked 40 hours a week and in aug i will be working 20hours a week until jan 14. Can you let me know how many holidays i should get? Danielle

  • Hi Louise,
    If you are working four days per week, then you are entitled to four weeks holidays x four days.
    So that is actually 16 days holiday entitlement. The rate of pay should be the same as when you are at work.
    Enjoy the holidays.

  • Hi Louise,
    If you are working in Ireland then you are entitled to paid holidays from your employer. Assuming you are working full time for at least 1,365 hours a year, then you are entitled to payment for four weeks holidays per year. The rate of pay for each week should be equivalent to a normal weeks pay, so it should be the same amount when you are on holiday as when you are at work.
    I hope that you get your entitlement but if not, perhaps you might consider contacting the Employment Rights Authority at
    Best of luck and enjoy the holidays!

  • Hi, I work 4 days a week, 8 hours a day (32 hours). My employer said I am only entitled to 16 days hol a year now because I only work 4 days a week. Are they right considering I work over the 1365 hours a year?


  • Hi, quick question… I’ve been working for my employer for over 2 years and never had a holiday, I’m due to go on holiday soon but I am unsure wether or not they are going to give me holiday pay, is there a legal requirement for them to pay me?? There has never been any mention of holiday pay, but I’m going in hope! (I work 5 or 6 days a week, every week!)
    Thanks for your help!

  • Hi Laura,

    You’re quite right. The holiday entitlement is based on hours actually worked and does not include time that the person is actually on holidays too!
    The employer is obliged to calculate the best option for the employee of those available when calcualting the holiday entitlement for employees subject to a maximum of the four weeks.

  • If you are being paid for one weeks holiday leave, your payment should be equivalent to an average weeks pay if you were at work.
    So if you normally get €500 for a weeks work, then you should also get €500 for a weeks holiday pay.

  • If you get 20 days holidays per year, then that equates to 1.66 days per month.
    As you are leaving during the month of June, you should be entitled to 1.66 days for each full month (i.e. January to May) which equates to 8.33 days
    for the month of June, if you have worked at least 117 hours, then you will be entitled to another 1.66 days. However, if you have worked less than 117 hours, you may be only entitled to 8% of the gross pay you have received for that month.
    As you ahve already been paid for 9.5 days, I suspect that you employer will just leave it at that as it’s a fair solution for everyone.
    Best of luck in your new role.

  • Hi Deborah,
    You would now be entitled to four weeks holidays x 3 days per week/ 20 hours per week.
    If you normal working week is 3 days, then 4 weeks x 3 days = 12 days
    Normal working week of 20 hours means that you would be paid 4weeks x 20 hours for holiday pay.

    I hope this helps.

  • Hi Mary,
    Sorry to hear about your situation. I really think you should go back to your employer and discuss this with him further. If he had agreed to your holidays and you had made the booking on that basis, the employer should be sympathetic to your case as he is obliged to take into account your need to balance your work and personal committments. I’m sure he’ll also realise that by reaching an agreement with you, he will benefit from your continued co-operation and motivation in your employment for many years to come. I hope it all works out and wish you a Happy Holiday.

  • Hi, I requested my holidays over a month ago and my employer agreed to the dates. Subsequently I booked and fully paid for a holiday abroad with my partner. Now my employer has told me he that I cannot take that week off as he is short staffed. We are not entitled to a refund of flights or accommodation and will be seriously out of pocket as a result. What are my entitlements?

  • Hi if I work 20 hours per week over a three day period what holiday leave am I entitled to. I have worked for the same company in excess of ten years, am just part time recently.

  • Hi,

    I have a question about holiday entitlements when leaving a job. I have worked in my current position for 1 year and eight months. I get 20 days holidays per year. I have already taken 9.5 days and am leaving on the 21st June. Will I owe them any days? Do I get my full entitlements for June even though I will only work until 21st June? Is it 1.5 days per month that I am entitled to?
    Many thanks

  • I work full time since the start of May. I work 40 hours a week from now on, and have worked 728.05 hours since i started in October. I am no working 120+ hours a month. I get paid monthly.
    How much am i entitled to for 1 weeks holidays?

  • Hi,
    I was wondering if you could help me. When calculating holidays using method c (8% of hours worked), is it actual hours worked that your calculation is based on or should you add hours, that person was on holidays in to calculation? (for example, is somebody worked 32 hours and took 8 hours holiday during the week, is holiday entitlement based on 32 or 40 hours?)
    If it is only actual hours worked, then maximum holiday entitlement a year comes up only to 19.2 days (48 weeks actualy worked x 5 days x 8% = 19.2).
    Thanks you

  • Hi Laura,
    It appears that you work six days per week. If you are off on a Public Holiday you are still entitled to one fifth of your normal pay so long as that amount is not more than the rate you would have got if you were at work. In short this means that you get paid the same as you would have got if you were at work assuming that you work the same hours every day. Enjoy the day off!

  • Hi Niamh,

    If you work 20 hours per week over 5 days then you are entitled to 21 days holidays paid at a daily rate of 4 hours (i.e. your normal working day).
    The pro rata means that it is proportionate to your pay and as your pay is usually for 4 hours per day, your holiday entitlement will be for 4 hours per day.
    Therefore you will have 21 days x 4 hours holiday entitlement.
    Kind regards,


  • Hi Deirdre,
    Public holiday entitlement is due to casual workers who have worked at least 40 hours in the five weeks leading up to the Public Holiday. If they are not working on that day, they are entitled to payment of one fifth of their normal working week averaged over the previous 13 weeks. You will need to manually check who is entitled and then what the value of that entitlement will be.
    Regarding the lady on Maternity leave, she is still entitled to all holidays and Public Holidays as though she had been at work.
    I hope this helps.

  • Hi Linda,
    Your employer is obliged to ensure you use your holiday entitlement each year.
    Otherwise he is in breach of the Organisation of Working Time Act.
    I suggest that you discuss this with him immediately and arrange to take your holiday entitlement as quickly as possible.
    Happy Holidays!

  • My leave year is Jan to Dec. Last year I took no holidays but worked every week of the year. I work part time 2 days per week which entitles me to 8 days in a four week capacity. What are my entitlements as regard holiday pay if I say don’t take the holiday time for last year in the coming six months.

  • Hi,
    I am a payroll operator and I have a query about public holiday entitlements – we have permanent casual staff who have no set hours. Some weeks they may work 20 hours, some 40. If on the week a public holiday occurs, and they do not work on the public holiday are they entitled to be paid for the day? Also one girl is on maternity leave – she has no set hours. She is due back in April – is she due annual leave and public holiday pay for the time she is on leave?

  • hi I work 20 hours per week (5 mornings) . My contract states I’m entitled to 21 days holiday pro rata – what exactly does this mean – given that I’m only paid for 4 hours a day, can I take each of these days as a holiday day?

  • Hi

    I am enquiring about bank holiday ‘pro-rata’ hours. I work mon-sat and 48 hours a week. With this in mind, what type of bank holiday pay should I expect? I have the bank holidays off, so will I get paid for the whole day too?

  • Hi Mirko, sorry to hear you’ve lost your job. Yes you are entitled to be paid for any unpaid holidays you have accrued in the last 3 months.

  • i ve been working for 3 months, and i ve fired without reason, shall i expect my holiday pay or not??? thank u